COVID-19: Lockdown extended till June 30 in India

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SRINAGAR — The Government of India on Saturday extended COVID-19 lockdown till June 30th while issuing new guidelines for lockdown 5.0 with phased re-opening of all activities outside the containment zones across the country.

As per the new guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, the lockdown 5.0 will come into effect from June 01, 2020 and will remain in force till June 30, 2020.

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As per the guidelines, there will be phased re-opening of all activities outside containment zones while strict enforcement of lockdown will have to be observed in containment zones during phase 1 of the new lockdown guidelines.

“Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines today, for phased re-opening of areas outside the containment zones. The guidelines will come into effect from June 01, 2020 and will be effective till June 30, 2020,” reads the order.

As per the new guidelines, the current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1 will have an economic focus.

“MHA order of March 24, 2020 imposed a strict lockdown throughout the country. Only essential activities were permitted. All other activities were prohibited. Subsequently, in a graded manner and keeping the overarching objective of containing the spread of COVID-19 in view, the lockdown measures have been relaxed,” the order further reads.

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The order stated that the new guidelines have been issued today based on extensive consultations held with States and UTs.

As per the new guidelines, all activities that were prohibited earlier will be opened up in areas outside containment zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry.

The order states that religious places and places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and shopping malls will be permitted to open from June 8, 2020 during phase 1 of this lockdown.

“Health Ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.”

In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions etc. will be opened after consultations with States and UTs.

State Governments/UT administrations have also been advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders and based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July. “MoHFW will prepare SOP for these institutions.”

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Only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country. These activities include International air travel of passengers, operation of Metro Rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places and social / political / sports / entertainment / academic / cultural / religious functions / and other large congregations.

“Dates for their opening will be decided based on assessment of the situation during phase III of this lockdown.”

As per the guidelines, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. “These will be demarcated by the State / UT Governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.”

The order also states that the use of Aarogya Setu mobile application should be encouraged by various authorities with a view to ensure safety.

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